Newswise — TAMPA (Sunday, March 26, 2023) – Time-related and financial burdens are detrimental to gynecologic cancer patient and survivor quality of life (QOL), according to two research studies presented yesterday and today at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

The first study by Sarah Ackroyd, MD, MPH et al. examined treatment-related time burden among 75 women (median age, 67; 51% White, 41% Black, 8% other) with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer to determine time-related QOL and relative time toxicity between treatment courses. Time toxicity was defined as the number of days spent away from home at healthcare services for needed cancer care during a specific treatment regimen.

Results reveal women with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer spend substantial time tending to their healthcare needs while on treatment, and, in the study, this was correlated with worse QOL scores. This represents the first study of time spent on healthcare in a cohort of patients receiving treatment for advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

"Patient-centered outcomes are important to consider as we make difficult treatment decisions in the recurrent setting,” said Ackroyd. “Time toxicity is a potential new outcome measure that can help us understand the treatment-related time demands our patients' experience. I hope that this framework can be further developed and used to improve the workflow of cancer care and the quality-of-life of our patients."

A second study by Naomi Adjei, MD, MPH, MSEd, et al. investigated the financial and social impact of ovarian cancer care and strategies implemented by patients and their support networks. Forty patients with recurrent advanced stage ovarian cancer (median age 59.3 years; median time from diagnosis was 44.7 months) participated in qualitative interviews in which they were asked to describe their experiences with financial impacts of cancer care.

Patients reported defraying expenses by cutting back on necessities and leisure activities. Patients also frequently acknowledged financial and social support was received through their social networks and via crowdsourcing strategies to fund their cancer care. The study authors suggest that these interpersonal support systems and funding mechanisms are unsustainable in the long-term, calling on more reliable systems to alleviate cancer-related financial distress.

“Participants in our study had health insurance and were receiving care at a comprehensive cancer center, yet they reported significant financial distress causing them to lose their employment, insurance, homes, and other assets,” Adjei shares. “How are cancer patients in less affluent settings with fewer safety nets coping? Policies and interventions that promote timely cancer care accessibility, innovative insurance models, and value-based care will protect patients, their families, and their interpersonal social networks, as well as ensure more sustainable health care spending by the U.S. health care system.”

About SGO
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is the premier medical specialty society for health care professionals trained in the comprehensive management of gynecologic cancers. As a 501(c)(6) organization, SGO contributes to the advancement of gyn cancer care by encouraging research, providing education, raising standards of practice, advocating for patients and members and collaborating with other domestic and international organizations. Learn more at

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Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer